How Now, Brown Thrasher?

All three of our regional Mimidae can be found here in New York City. Northern Mockingbirds are year-around regulars, even on the streets and in backyards. The Catbirds swoosh into the parks to breed in spring and their meowing calls and other songs are a major part of the aural landscape of the woods until the fall. But the Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma ruff), as boldly patterned and colored as it is, is not so easily seen.

A good place to spot them is on the western end of the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where they like the thick shrub layer but occasionally pop out into the open. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear them sing. Like the other mimic birds, they are great songsters: their “song is a complex string of many musical phrases (many copied from other birds’ songs, with each phrase typically sung twice before moving on)” to quote Cornell.

1 Response to “How Now, Brown Thrasher?”


  1. 1 Karl Madden June 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Great photo — love those eyes


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